Fake Complimenting Email Sent About Coworker

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about fake email:

A coworker created a fake email address and sent an email to our boss pretending to be a customer. She wrote about how she called our office and spoke with a star employee. She went on and on about how wonderful her customer service is and how well she handled the customer’s situation. Our boss posted the email for all employees to see. I was skeptical, because we have had many customer complaints about this specific empolyee, so I researched the email address and discovered it was my coworker who created it. I don’t think it is fair for her to be getting praise and recognition over a fake scenario that never took place, but I don’t know how to tell my boss.

Signed, Knows The Truth

Dear Knows The Truth:

The important issue here is that if one email account could be created, so could others, including for the purpose of complaining about an employee. In addition, if an employee would lie about this, they would lie about anything. So, this is an ethical issue, a morale issue and an overall employee issue. If you have proof, take it to your boss. I don’t know how the average person could find out who created a web-based email address, so make sure you do have that proof if you say so. Perhaps the email had a name and address that could be verified, for further proof.If you don’t have proof but have reason to believe it, talk to your boss anyway. You can tell him that you feel uncomfortable about talking to him because it may sound petty (especially if everyone knows you don’t like that particular employee), but you think there are implications far beyond this one email.

Don’t talk about it to others, since that could be seen as spreading rumors and lying about a coworker. You don’t want to get in trouble yourself and have this matter overlooked. Best wishes to you with this. If you have the time and wish to do so, let us know what happens. This is an interesting situation that we will probably hear about again some time.

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.